This is an experience I have been waiting a little while to blog about - essentially, ever since I decided I wanted to blog about stuff. There were many things happening the day this album came to my attention and since I hadn’t actually known it was out I was doubly thrilled to see it – so thrilled in fact that I am quite sure I am embarrassed Tim with my shriek of joy that a good portion of the shopping population in the mall heard. People stopped and gawked. I’m fairly certain that those who didn’t smile - scowled. And I don’t blame them one bit – any of you who actually know me personally, know that I tend to have these explosions of enthusiasm when something happens that I’m really happy or excited about. Though they aren’t terribly edgy or cool, I’ve long since stopped trying to curb these reactions. It’s an impossible mission. Even I don’t know when they’re coming.
But back to the story of the album…
Tim is a friend, a talented and passionate musician, and I have long appreciated his efforts over the years to understand the matters between my peoples and his, and the relationship between our communities. He will probably laugh and be even more embarrassed at me for putting it this way, but it’s definitely how I feel. The photo definitely captures a bit of it, my sheer enthusiasm, but whatever isn’t transferrable through the image – I’ll supplement with words.
I had been in a bit of a mood – the kind where you seem to continually misstep, where you feel like people look at you funny and you can’t make yourself not care, and your mind is not on the same wave length as everyone else’s. And that leaves you to be unmistakeably and happily you but a you who is still trying to connect with others because that’s an important thing to do.
My mood was exacerbated by the fact that there seemed to be many things happening in the world that I was not piecing together coherently and yet, I defiantly continued to drink in more information (instead of having a tea and relaxing, for instance). I had also just finished the Tom Longboat run the day before and I was feeling particularly full of community care and affection - and since it was ten kilometres, a distance I don't usually run - I was in a great deal of pain.
Here are just a few things that were happening that day, in no particular order:
- Pam Palmater was twittering about the launch of her campaign for National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations – which incidentally, the elections for are next week.
- A conservative senator said and tweeted that Treaties would never be honoured.
- Minister Kathleen Wynn made a communications agreement with the Haudenosaunee Development Institute. (Incidentally – no tweet for this one).
Despite the relative disorganization of my being that day, I knew that I would certainly do my part to honour the living and existing Treaties and that I would learn to get better at it. I also knew that I wasn’t the only one who is committed to the Treaties and learning about them. I imagined there likely could be a lot more people who might do so, if they knew more about them.
So when I walked into the record store and saw Tim’s album I was delighted. I was delighted to see him open a dialogue because he cares about his community’s friendships as much as I do about mine – even if I sometimes don’t know what to do to help. Maybe he doesn’t always know either – but he made this album and it is evident even from the title Onondaga (as well as the lyrics of the songs) that the relationship between Six Nations and Brantford is on his mind. It’s on mine too. And in honour of this particular contribution to the dialogue - I asked him if I could review the album for The Whirlwind. And happily – he agreed.
The commemoration of the War of 1812 is being held later this year, and during my first listen through of this album – this was one theme that popped out at me. So as we get closer to October and as different Six Nations events to raise awareness about our history with the War of 1812 roll out – I will be blogging segments of this album with Tim. I’m looking forward to it very much - there is always a great deal to learn and discover.
I have a love for local music and musicians so I am happy to share this link to the Raccoon Wedding myspace. http://www.myspace.com/theracoonwedding
Honour the Treaties,